Any Given Saturday, Week 5 Recap: The Disingenuous Trial of Brady Hoke

Brady Hoke somehow pulled off the triple threat of ineptitude. No other head coach could get scraped into the sidewalk by Minnesota and somehow make that the weekend subplot. Hoke’s already lost to both Minnesota and Utah, gotten blasted by Notre Dame, is the rare coach who proudly doesn’t rock a headset and brags about it like he’s a black woman not wearing weave.

However, Michigan fans loved his verisimilitude. Unlike the offensive mad scientist Rich Rodriguez who they believe needed soap in his mouth, he had strong (Midwestern) values

Remember the good old days when you had to run out on the field and actively clock a Clemson player to have people calling for your job in the Big Ten?

That’s how Woody Hayes ignominiously lost his lofty position as The Ohio State head coach in 1978. While Brady Hoke didn’t visibly assault an opposing player, his negligence regarding one of his own injured players has him stuck between hell and highwater.

Michigan’s Hoke was already greasing the path to his exit. Then he made a mistake to leave in new starting quarterback Shane Morris in for an extra play after he took a thunderous shot that had him seeing stars.

Once Morris stumbled off the field, Devin Gardner proceeded to take the next few snaps under center until losing his helmet after getting tackled, forcing him to sit out one play. Instead of running the Wildcat or using a timeout, Morris was sent back out there, to hand the ball off, despite appearing slightly off kilter.

Hoke claimed that the medical staff cleared Morris and that there were no signs of a concussion.

"I don't make decisions who plays, who doesn't play, as far as when there's injuries — in particular, if there were any head or head trauma," Hoke explained. "Those of you who know or don't know, I would never put a kid in that situation."

His firing at the end of this season’s conclusion was a formality, but in the aftermath, Michigan fans and the university’s newspaper are calling for his immediate dismissal. Here’s the problem.

It’s disingenuous to act like they’re calling for his job because of his poor handling of Morris’ injury.

There’s nothing in the last three years that would suggest Hoke would intentionally put a player in danger. And if you want to be shrewd about it, Shane Morris wasn’t exactly a box of fireworks for the Wolverines in his first start. A healthy Morris wasn’t even fit to start an be productive.  If Michigan was undefeated something tells me they would be inclined to believe Hoke’s assertion that he was unaware Morris was concussed or at the least give Hoke a mulligan.

Hoke may not be the coaching prodigy who they thought would restore Michigan to national championship contention, but one incident doesn’t make him a vile person who should be jettisoned from Ann Arbor without warning and have stones cast in his direction..

Minnesota’s Jerry Kill should consider overnight shipping the Little Brown Jug to Hoke’s home address because that guy could use a drink. Conversely, sanctimonious Michigan fans should join him off their high horse, take a shot of truth serum and admit this has more to do with the loss column than their morals.



During the silence of a slow week, head coaching job statuses were the hottest topics. However, only one was dumped like Wiz Khalifa. After three incredibly uninspiring seasons as head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks, Sheahon Zenger snipped the rope and dropped the piano on Charlie Weis.

In retrospect, Weis was never built for the rigors of being a head coach. Those three rings as the Patriots offensive coordinator looked mighty impressive on his resume. However, in the decade since he departed for Notre Dame, Tom Brady and the Patriots offense hasn't skipped a beat.

Weis’ hiring looks more and more like an ex getting over an old flame with a doppleganger. Mark Mangino and Charlie Weis cast the same shadow, but Weis lacked a certain energy required for college football.

Mangino possessed too much passion. Mangino’s boorish behavior getting him fired is a sore spot for Jayhawk football because it occurred at the apex of their success as a moribund football program.

Last summer, his pitch to recruits interested in spending four to five years on Kansas’ sprawling campus involved him throwing shade on his current roster. It was a tone-deaf move by a head coach with an ego that came in Costco bulk size.

Weis wasn’t the problem with Kansas football. It takes a unique shaman like Bill Snyder or Mangino to resurrect a corpse like Kansas football.  He was just another guy. A school like Kansas needs a Master of Divinity.



We knew Brissett was going to be good, perhaps even great once he finally took snaps as a starter. We underestimate just how well NC State’s new quarterback would play as a starting quarterback. While Jeff Driskel has been an albatross upon Will Muschamp’s shoulders at Florida, Brissett was nearly heroic against Florida State.


Brissett’s 359 yards, three touchdowns passing and the most exhilarating 38 yards rushing you’ll ever see. Brissett looked like Vince Young against USC in the Rose Bowl.

Alas, the Wolfpack defense was unable to force the Seminoles into a punting situation. It was difficult enough going yard-for-yard with Winston who threw for 365 yards, but running back Karlos Williams also rushed for 126 yards in his best outing of what’s been a disappointing season thus far for the converted safety. If Jacoby Brissett can look like Johnny Manziel against FSU, the Seminoles aren't repeating.



This week, Clemson officially laid Cole Stoudt out to pasture and Deshaun Watson quickly ratcheted things up a notch by throwing a touchdown on his first attempt in his very first start. Six more times Watson repeated this process for a single game school passing record against UNC’s defense. LSU may finally be next up to make their permanent switch to a freshman.

Brandon Harris didn’t get the start against New Mexico State this weekend, despite earning it during a frenetic fourth quarter comeback against Mississippi State the week prior. However, he once again outperformed Jennings and should finally get his first start against a Top 25 foe next weekend against Auburn.

Just like last week, Miles was still on the fence after Saturday’s win.

On the road at Jordan Hare Stadium is not an ideal fire to throw Harris into, but it’s plain for the eyes to see.

Thankfully, Humpty Dumpty hopped of the fence, got the message as well and decided to start Harris on Monday.


UGA’s secondary is getting hit more consistently than ISIS in 2014. To counteract, UGA can’t counter with a robust passing attack because senior Hutson Mason does not possess the physical ability, accuracy or the arsenal to consistently matriculate the ball up and down the field at the pace his secondary would force him to. Todd Gurley is their offensive deux ex machine. Justin Worley connected for nearly 264 yards and three touchdowns forcing the Bulldogs to deploy Gurley out the backfield 28 times.

His running ability is on another plane of existence. I also mean that literally. This weekend, he took flight over Tennessee’s defense en route to a career-high 208 yard rushing day.


The hurdle drew comparisons to one executed by Knowshon Moreno six years ago against Central Michigan. Gurley has now outgained Mason in total yardage, which seems even more remarkable in a pro-style offense that Murray ran to perfection for four years while placing his name atop a slew of SEC records.